CLEVELAND — Chad Green couldn’t build on his previous start.
The Yankees’ offense couldn’t build on the previous night’s comeback, either.
Indeed, Team Inconsistency reared its head again Friday night in an ugly 10-2 loss to the Indians in front of a sellout crowd of 34,045 at Progressive Field.
The Yankees (42-44) fell to 3-5 on this three-city, 10-game trip that precedes the All-Star break. They also scored two or fewer runs for the 34th time in 86 games — nearly 40 percent — and have gone 4-30 in those games.
With the game a blowout in the sixth inning, Joe Girardi pulled first baseman Mark Teixeira, whose right knee — which had put him on the disabled list last month because of a cartilage tear — acted up.
“It’s something we have to watch,” Girardi said. “It’s sore. I figured we were down [8-0], so I figured I’d get him out. Maybe give him a day off and have him Sunday.”
Teixeira, who will have a lubricant injection in the knee after tomorrow’s game, said if it had been a close game, he would have stayed in.
“We’re going to continue to protect this thing and make sure that I don’t have to have surgery and miss the rest of the season,” Teixeira said. “I’m going to play with a level of soreness all year and we all understand that, and if there’s an opportunity to get me off my feet after three or four in a row . . . We took that opportunity today.”
Green, who allowed one run and three hits last Sunday against the lowly Padres, found the going much more difficult against the powerful Indians (52-34), who hit a season-best five homers Friday night.
The 25-year-old righthander, who took the place of Nathan Eovaldi in the rotation Friday night and hopes to lay claim to a longer-term gig there in the season’s second half, allowed seven runs and five hits, including four home runs, in 4 1⁄3 innings.
“No secondary stuff at all,” said one opposing team scout. “And his fastball just had no movement. None.”
Girardi said the primary problem was that Green did not command his cutter. “He had really good control of it against San Diego,’’ he said, “and tonight he did not.”
Green was victimized by back-to-back homers by Carlos Santana (No. 20) and Jason Kipnis to start the game, and a two-run blast by Lonnie Chisenhall plunged the Yankees into a 4-0 hole after six batters.
Mike Napoli (No. 18) obliterated a full-count fastball off the base of the scoreboard in left-center, an estimated 462-foot shot, to make it 6-0 in the third.
“I’m still confident in my stuff,” Green said. “When I got ahead of them, I was fine. I made four mistakes all game, but those four mistakes cost me seven runs or so.”
Kipnis homered off Anthony Swarzak in the seventh.
Former AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who has experienced a few ups and downs this year, had few downs Friday night. He allowed one run, five hits and no walks in eight innings, striking out eight in improving to 9-8 with a 3.61 ERA.
The only run off Kluber was Brian McCann’s 14th home run, an opposite-field shot to leftfield in the seventh that made it 9-1. Back-to-back doubles by Carlos Beltran and McCann in the ninth made it 10-2.
“Man, he’s good,” Teixeira said of Kluber. “He’s a Cy Young for a reason, he’s an All-Star for a reason. Just carving us up. He was really good.”